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Thursday, January 5, 2012

What are different aspects of distributed testing?

We have heard a lot about different kinds of testing such as regression testing, scalability testing, web testing, unit testing, visual testing, and performance testing and so on. But do you know what is distributed testing? Ever heard about it? No? Then this piece of writing is certainly for you!

This type of testing usually receives very less coverage and that’s why most of the people are not familiar with it. Here I have attempted to explain what is meant by distributed testing and how it compares with its non distributive counterpart.

Non distributed testing can be defined as the tests that run or execute only on a single computer and usually do not involve any kind of interaction with the other computer systems. I used the word “usually” here because there exist some tests that are executed from a host machine to test the target device which holds an embedded or a real time operating system. Non distributed test cases can be configured very easily.

Non distributed testing is further divided into two sub categories namely local testing and remote testing. They have been discussed in details below:

- Local Testing
This kind of testing involves running the test cases on a local computer system. The tests used are called local tests. For performing local test you don’t have to be connected to a network connection.

- Remote Testing
This kind of testing requires a network connection so that you can run a test on a remote computer system to which you don’t have local access. This is very comfortable since you can work right from your desk and you also get the results right on your desk. Remote tests can be performed on several computer systems at a time. The best about thing about remote testing is that no matter how many software systems are under the distributed testing, there is no interference between the processors of different CPUs.

Now that you have got the idea of how non distributed testing is like, it will be easy for you to understand distributed testing is like.
- A distributed test case consists of many parts that interact with each other.
- Each part of the test case is executed on different computer system.
- The interaction of the different parts of the distributed testing sets it apart from non distributed testing.
- If you notice the testing is all about testing the interaction between different computer systems.
- All of the test cases being processed on different processors have a common aim irrespective of the system on which they are performed.
- Distributed testing is not to be confused with simultaneous testing since in simultaneous testing there is no interaction between the different tests.
- Platform proves to be one of the great challenges to the distributed testing.
- The testing environment should be capable of working on all the platforms involved effectively.
- After setting up of your testing environment, you need to make a test plan or say that you need to describe how you want to carry out distributed testing.
- This can be done via a test scenario.
- A test scenario lists all the test cases and also describes how they are to carried out on the computer systems.
- The description of the test cases is provided in the form of a formal directive.
- Test scenario is an effective way to describe test cases.
- For distributed testing we use distributed directives and for non distributed testing we use remote directives.

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